The Ferrari 488 GT3 Evo 2020 of Sky Tempesta Racing crewed by Giancarlo Fisichella and Jonathan Hui claimed an excellent win in the first Sprint Cup race of the weekend at Magny Cours. The night race offered spectacle and plenty of twists and turns, courtesy of a track on which there were punctures, contacts and glorious duels.
The first excitement came as early as the Adelaide hairpin bend which, as tradition has it, sees lots of passing but also contacts and accidents. Indeed, history repeated itself with some duels veering off track and ending with spins and confusion in the middle of the group. Tempesta Racing’s Ferraris came out of this very differently. While Chris Froggatt lost positions after a good start, Hui gained six to move up into fourteenth place. Louis Machiels was lucky to avoid the chaos and close in on Hui. In the following laps, he took second place in class passing Pierburg, soon also in Froggatt’s sights. However, before the British driver could even think about a move, Louis Machiels provoked the race’s first Full Course Yellow with 44 minutes to go. In attempting to fend off Palette’s attacks, the Belgian driver lost control of the 488 GT3 Evo 2020, ending up in the gravel outside turn two. When the Ferrari returned to the track, and the Safety Car was compacting the group, the race resumed with 38 minutes to go.
The mandatory stops, which took place a few laps after the Safety Car returned to the pit lane, saw new drivers take the wheel but the standings remained largely the same. Fisichella led the Pro-Am class followed by Eddie Cheever III, threatened by Baumann. Bertolini, two laps down, was penalised with a drive-through for speeding in the pit lane. However, he was still in fourth, a position worth valuable championship points.
Fisichella recorded a series of times close to those of the Pro class crews, the fastest of which in 1:37.592. This left him twelve seconds clear of teammate Cheever who, meanwhile, gained a small but significant margin over Baumann. Although out of the podium fight, Andrea Bertolini continued to push his 488 GT3 Evo 2020 to the limit with high-speed laps, not far off Fisichella’s. The latter finished first in class and eleventh overall in the Ferrari no. 92 that he shared with Jonathan Hui. Eddie Cheever III and Chris Froggatt crossed the line second in class and fifteenth overall, consolidating their leadership in the Pro-Am class. The two AF Corse drivers, Louis Machiels and Andrea Bertolini, came fourth.